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ARAKAN

Monthly

News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

ARNO PRESIDENT NURUL ISLAM


PROTEST INFRONT OF THE BUR-
MESE EMBASSY IN LONDON FOR
DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI

Volume 1, Issue 5
MAY 2009
www.ro-
www.rohingya.org

Burma: A battleground for India and China


News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

In this Issue Editorial: Aung San Suu Kyi

U
S President Barack Obama has called
Editorial: Aung San Suu Kyi 2 for the “immediate and unconditional
“release of Burmese opposition lead-
er Aung San Suu kyi. In a written statement,
Burma: A battleground for In- Mr.Obama said he strongly condemned Ms.Suu
Kyi, s house arrest, which has lasted for most
dia and China 3 of last 19 years.”Aung San Suu Kyi,s continued
detention, isolation and show based on spurious
charges cast serious doubt on the Burmese re-
THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS: 2 mil- gime’s willingness to be a responsible member
of the international community” Mr.Obama said
lion Rohingyas facing push in in statement.
to Bangladesh 6 We strongly denounced the charges against Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi. She was accused of violating the law as
US national John Yettow swan to her lakeside house.
COMPOSITION OF THE ROHINGYA Suu Kyi did not invite him. The incident was merely

7
breach of security where the authorities watch over
SOCIETY IN ARAKAN her house. Such a trial could justify another exten-
sion of Suu Kyi,s yearlong detention, which officially
ended May 27. The junta has found reasons to extend
Kaladan News: Human Rights her periods of house arrest, which international ju-
rors say is illegal even under Burmese law.
Group briefs press on Bangla-
10
Her perseverance is to achieve democracy and the
desh FM’s visit to Burma recognition of human rights within the Burmese so-
ciety. Only when “society fell from its original state
of purity into moral and chaos was a king elected to
Myanmar pledges to take back restore peace and justice. She points out Burmese
traditions include the king among the “five enemies”.
Rohingyas 10 The ten duties of the kings are: liberality, morality,
self-sacrifice, integrity, kindness, austerity, non-an-
ger, non-violence, forbearance and non-opposition to
the will of the people. The last duty empowered the
CNN exposé on Thai refugee people to examine the king’s conducts. The king can-

abuse wins award 11 not behave arbitrarily.

General Khin Nyunt once told “we love and respect


General Aung San and since Suu Kyi is his daughter,
Why SPDC sets up Natala villag- we also have special attachment to her as the daugh-
ter of our national hero”. Maureen Aung Thwin, the
es in northern Arakan 12 director of “Burma Project”in New York told that,”
She is now the single greatest threat to military rule.
And regardless of which groups are anti-SPDC and
OIC/CFM-36/2009/MM/DR/RES/FINAL claim to be separate from Suu kyi, the fact remains
that the government considers Suu Kyi to be the sym-
RESOLUTION No. 4/36-MM ON THE bol of opposition.”
MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN MYANMAR
Barbara victor wrote “The Burmese opposition de-

15 vised a method for reaching and informing millions


of people throughout the world the atrocities of SPDC
without firing a shot, hijacking an airplane, launch-
ing a grenade. Learning of a Burmese website on in-
ternet, million of people who had never even heard
of Burma suddenly became aware of Suu Kyi who

 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


www.rohingya.org

was relentless in her vocal opposi- army generals to form government lacca Strait. The narrowest point is
tion against a military regime with but became opposition leader in the Phillips Channel in the Singa-
a 400,000 men army, equipped with confinement. pore Strait, only 1.5 miles wide at
the most modern and sophisticat- its narrowest. Daily more than 12
ed weapons, that had been taken Still she soldiers on refusing to million barrels in oil supertankers
over the country by force.” compromise on her principles of pass through this narrow passage,
nonviolence,- refusing even to most en route to the world’s fast-
In Dallas Morning News, April give up her sense of humour de- est-growing energy market, China
2003, Rena Pederson wrote,” The spite a grim situation. The world’s or to Japan.
lady, as everyone calls her, may be best known Burmese, of course, If the strait were closed, nearly
the bravest woman in the world. is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Her,s half of the world’s tanker fleet
After all, she had gone toe and is today one of the only voices in would be required to sail further.
toe with a brutal military regime. Burma that dares publicly chal- Closure would immediately raise
They have guns. She has only lenge the military dictatorship. freight rates worldwide. More than
ideas and principles. And she had She represents the desire of all of 50,000 vessels per year transit the
her own, even though the gener- Burma’s peoples, women and men Strait of Malacca. The region from
als have thrown her in jail, locked alike, for a government that would Burma to Banda Ache in Indonesia
her in her house and hounded her. respect their rights and strive to is fast becoming one of the world’s
The first surprise was that she has meet needs. most strategic chokepoints.
a sense of humour. As with Vaclav Controlling the strategic sea lanes
Havel in Czechoslovakia and Nel- from the Persian Gulf to the South
son Mandela in South Africa, fate Burma: A battle- China Sea, the United States has
has chosen Aung San Suu Kyi to be been trying to militarize the re-
the symbolic voice of an oppressed ground for India gion since September 11, 2001 on
people in her case, Burma. and China the argument of defending against
By Aman Ullah possible terrorist attack. The US
Though they won Nobel Prize as has managed to gain an airbase on

G
well, the difference is that they reat Game of the 19th Banda Ache, the Sultan Iskandar
are free today in democratic coun- Century was played be- Muda Air Force Base, on the north-
tries. She remains the only demo- ernmost tip of Indonesia. The gov-
tween empire builders
cratically elected leader in the ernments of the region, including
world who hasn’t been allowed to Britain and Russia, using Af- Burma, however, have adamantly
take office. When Mr. Havel was ghanistan as their football in refused US efforts to militarize
released from prison, he got to seeking control of central Asia. the region.
assume elected office. Like wise Today, there is a new great Since it became clear to China
Mr. Mandela had a leader like. de game under way between two that the US was hell-bent on a uni-
Klerk with whom to negotiate.” I very different competitors -- lateral militarization of the Mid-
haven’t seen a de Klerk,” she ob- China and India. But this time dle East oil fields in 2003, Beijing
served dryly in our interview. the ball is Burma. has stepped up its engagement in
Burma. China is officially Burma’s
Gen.Aung San, father of the Bur- In much the same way that Afghan- third-largest trading partner after
mese nation made a public speech istan was a poor and undeveloped Singapore and Thailand and the
on July 15, 1947 calling the people but strategic piece of territory, so largest foreign investor in Burma,
to get ready for Burma’s Indepen- Burma now fits that role for the though the size of this investment
dent which was followed by a simi- two burgeoning economic giants. is not recorded and not visible in
lar popular message by his only The coastline of Burma provides international statistics.
daughter Aung San Suu kyi after naval access in the proximity of China is also Burma’s most impor-
a gap of 41 years, one month and one of the world’s most strategic tant defense ally, supplying most of
thirteen days. When Aung San Suu water passages, the Strait of Ma- its military hardware and training.
Kyi was delivering her speech a lacca, the narrow ship passage be- In recent years Beijing has poured
vast crowed of one million people tween Malaysia and Indonesia. billions of dollars in military as-
assembled on the open ground to The Strait of Malacca, linking the sistance into Burma, including
the west of the Shwedagon Pagoda Indian and Pacific Oceans, is the fighter, ground-attack and trans-
in Rangoon. Many carried por- shortest sea route between the port aircraft; tanks and armored
traits of Gen.Aung San, who was Persian Gulf and China. It is the personnel carriers; naval vessels
assassinated by an ex Burmese key chokepoint in Asia. More than and surface-to-air missiles. This
premier before assuming power. 80% of all China’s oil imports are has made the Burmese military
Aung San Suu kyi though elected, shipped by tankers passing the Ma- - the second largest in Southeast
she was barred by the Burmese Asia after Vietnam - much more

APRIL 
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

technically sophisticated. It has Akyab, providing the shortest route to the Indian Ocean from southern
enabled the army to expand from China. It has also built an 85-metre jetty, naval facilities and major re-
180,000 men to more than 450,000 connaissance and electronic intelligence systems on the Great Coco Is-
today. land, located 18 kilometers from India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands,
In 1992, China and Burma agreed giving China capabilities to monitor India’s military activities, includ-
that China would modernize Bur- ing missile tests. Access to Burma’s ports and naval installations pro-
mese naval facilities, in return for vide China with strategic influence in the Bay of Bengal, in the wider
permitting the Chinese navy to use Indian Ocean region and in Southeast Asia.
the Small and Great Coco Island. In fact Burma is an integral part of what China terms its “string of
Since then, Chinese experts have pearls,” its strategic design of establishing military bases in Burma,
built an electronic intelligence Thailand and Cambodia in order to counter US control over the Strait
station on Great of Malacca chokepoint.
Coco Island, vast- There is also energy on
ly improved and and offshore of Burma,
militarized the and lots of it.
Burmese port fa- As a result of increased
cilities in the Bay Chinese influence in
of Bengal at Akyab Burma, as well as arms-
(Sittwe), Kyauk- trafficking occurring
pyu and Mergui, along the Indo-Bur-
and constructed mese border, India has
a major naval sought in recent years to
base on Hainggyi strengthen its ties with
Island near the Burma. India’s interest
Irrawaddy river in Burma is largely mo-
delta. tivated by the country’s
China is currently importance to its main
building a deep- economic and political
sea port in Kyauk- rival, China. India is
pyu, which is lo- afraid of China’s influ-
cated on the route ence in Burma.
connecting south- India’s interest in
western China’s and involvement with
Kunming city with Southeast Asia has
Burma’s Sittwe, in been growing steadily
Arakan. The port over the past decade.
has a water depth New Delhi would like
of 20 metres and to use the country as a
is capable of ac- trade link to the fast-
commodating growing ASEAN region.
4,000 TEU (20-foot In 2004, an agreement
equivalent units) was signed in Yangon by
container vessels. the foreign ministers of
A feasibility study India, Burma and Thai-
for the seaport land to develop trans-
and road construction, outlined port linkages between the three countries. This included a 1,400 km
as Kunming-Mandalay-Kyaukpyu- highway connecting northeastern India with Mandalay and Yangon, and
Sittwe, was made in 2005. Once the on to Bangkok, which would contribute to opening up trade between the
1,943 km Kunming-Kyuakpu road countries and give India access to Burmese ports. India is also spending
is completed, it is expected to fa- $100 million to fund a deal linking Burma’s Sittwe port with an Indian
cilitate transit trade and provide one, perhaps Calcutta. A planned deep-sea port in Dawei, together with
job opportunities for Burmese a new highway connecting it to Kanchanaburi in Thailand, would no
workers and others in the region. doubt contribute further to commercial links.
China assists in constructing a na- Dawei, the capital of Tanintharyi division, is on the long, narrow coastal
val base in Sittwe (Akyab), a stra- plain of southern Burma. Building Dawei port also has a direct security
tegically important sea port close angle for the Indian navy, which is now in the process of sorting out the
to eastern India’s largest city and technical and financial details of its ambitious Far Eastern Naval Com-
port, Kolkata. It also funds road mand (FENC) project at Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman Islands.
construction linking Rangoon and FENC is intended to extend the Indian navy’s nuclear/strategic combat

 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


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capability. Dawei is located across have both engaged in acquiring serves of the Shwe gasfield in the
the Andaman Sea on the Burmese Burmese oil benefits. Bay of Bengal. The contract runs
coast, almost facing FENC. Indian In 2004, Burma exported natural for 30 years. India was the main
analysts worry that the Chinese gas to Thailand for nearly US$1 loser. Burma had earlier given In-
base on Great Coco Island poses billion, which is claimed to be dia a major stake in two offshore
a threat to the Indian tri-services at least twice as much as Burma blocks to develop gas to have been
command in Port Blair, which is could have earned from trade with transmitted via pipeline through
only about 190 nautical miles (300 the USA and the EU if they had not Bangladesh to India’s energy-hun-
km) away. The Coco Island base applied sanctions. The oil and gas gry economy. Political bickering
lies only 22 nautical miles from sector continued to grow in 2005, between India and Bangladesh
Landfall Island, the northernmost owing to Chinese, Thai, South brought the Indian plans to a
of the Andamans. The Coco Island Korean and Indian investments. standstill.
facility is also seen as a significant Thailand’s imports from Burma, Burma exemplifies the difficult
ELINT (electronic intelligence) mainly consisting of gas from balance between competition and
and SIGINT (signal intelligence) Yadana and Yetagun, rose by more cooperation between China and
threat to India’s missile-testing than 50% that year. Gas is now by India over oil and gas resources in
range, Chandipur-on-Sea and the far the most important source of third countries. India and China’s
Sriharikota Island Launching income for Burma, and one-third proximity to Burma provides an
Range, which are designed to as- of foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunity for both countries to
semble, test and launch Indian in Burma is in the oil and gas sec- enhance their energy security by
multi-stage rockets. tor. The combined FDI in Burmese diversifying fuel-supply sources
According to Indian security ana- oil and gas since 1988 is approxi- while avoiding the need for ex-
lysts, the Chinese presence on mately US$2.5 billion, 33% of all pensive LNG (liquid natural gas)
Coco Island should be seen in con- of Burma’s FDI. From the newly transportation. For China, Burma
nection with the Sino-Pakistani discovered Shwe field alone, the also represents a possible over-
defense project and cooperation Korean Daewoo International has land supply route for oil and other
on the Gwadar Port facilities, predicted at least US$86 million commodities bypassing the Ma-
which give China access and bas- in net profit annually for 20 years lacca Strait, a sea-lane that is vul-
ing facilities on the other side of from 2010, while Burma is project- nerable in the event of an attack
the Indian subcontinent, near the ed to earn a minimum of US$800 or embargo. Access to Burmese
Strait of Hormuz. What is espe- million a year, and potentially up ports and overland transporta-
cially worrisome from the Indian to US$3 billion. tion routes through Burma is seen
perspective is the ‘maritime encir- In 2004 a large new gas field, Shwe as a vital security asset for China.
clement of India’, with the Chinese field, off the coast of Arakan was This has become increasingly im-
based at Gwadar to the west of In- discovered by Daewoo Interna- portant with the growing Chinese
dia and on Coco Island to the east. tional. There are preliminary dependence on imported oil, 80%
In addition, Burma’s experiments plans to explore for gas in sev- of which is shipped into China
with a nuclear research reactor eral blocks in the Bay of Bengal, via the Malacca Strait. A key Chi-
are worrisome from an Indian per- but so far test drilling has only nese objective is thus to import oil
spective, especially since China, been made in Shwe’s blocks A-1 through Burma. According to a re-
Pakistan and Russia have all been and A-3. The A-1 block is the larg- cent report, plans for an oil pipe-
involved. Indian analysts fear that est, estimated to contain between line linking Burma’s deep-water
China’s naval presence in Burma 2.88 trillion and 3.56 trillion cubic port of Kyaukpyu with Kunming
may allow it to interdict regional feet of natural gas. Partners in the in China’s Yunnan province were
sea lanes of communication. On project’s international consor- approved by the National Devel-
this account, Burma is emerging as tium are Daewoo (60%), the state- opment and Reform Commission
the ‘single largest threat to Indian owned Korean Gas Corporation (a department of the Chinese State
strategic interests in South East (10%), and India’s ONGC (20%) and Council) in early April 2006.
Asia’. In an effort to check this GAIL (10%). Production from the China took advantage of the stale-
state of affairs, India has started Shwe field is planned to start in mate. China simply trumped India
its own campaign to woo the Bur- 2009. Natural gas from Shwe has with an offer to invest billions in
mese regime by providing military become a contentious issue in re- building a strategic China-Burma
training and selling it arms and lations between India and China, oil and gas pipeline across Burma
military hardware. and an obstacle to Sino-Indian en- from Burma’s deepwater port at
Offshore natural gas has become ergy cooperation. Kyaukpyu in the Bay of Bengal to
the major source of income for the In December 2005, Burma signed Kunming in China’s Yunnan Prov-
Burmese military regime, and will a Memorandum of Understanding ince, a stretch of more than 2,300
become increasingly important in with Petro-China to supply large kilometers. China plans an oil re-
the years to come. India and China volumes of natural gas from re- finery in Kumming as well.

APRIL 
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

M
What the Burma-China pipelines ore serious is the issue are plotting to start fresh troubles
will allow is routing of oil and gas of the Rohingyas. The to create the ground for pushing
from Africa (Sudan among oth- Rohingyas are Muslims into Bangladesh some 2 million
er sources) and the Middle East who inhabit the Arakan region Rohingyas. In other words, they
(Iran, Saudi Arabia) independent have plans to push out their entire
facing Bangladesh. For their
of dependence on the vulnerable Rohingya population from Arakan
chokepoint of the Malacca Strait.
looking like Bangladeshis or into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Burma becomes China’s “bridge” ethnicity and their religion ,
linking Bangladesh and countries they have been always under Thus, Bangladesh government
westward to the China mainland harassment by the predominant should be extremely wary from now
independent of any possible fu- Burmese people of Myanmar on to watch these developments
ture moves by Washington to con- who mainly run that country to be able to frustrate and defeat
trol the strait. and form its elites especially them. The Bangladesh-Myanmar
From a perceived China fear and among the ruling armed forc- borders could soon turn out to be
with an objective to compete with es. a hotbed of serious troubles. For
China, India has been building
up its military strength. India has
worked to close the gap with Chi-
na by spending heavily on modern
arms. And under the threat per-
ception, India has been pursuing
the closer relations with the Unit-
ed States, something that worries
China.
Themistocles, a Greek writer, once
said that, “he who commands the
sea has command of everything.”
It was Alfred T. Manhan, an Amer-
ican naval strategist who said in
1911: “Whoever controls the In-
dian Ocean dominates Asia…. in
the 21st century the destiny of the
world will be decided on its waves.”
Both China and India’s growing
military ambitions and maritime
power building up in seeking the
control of Indian Ocean have the
potential to destabilize the region. The Rohingyas have been always precluding such an outcome, Ban-
Of all the Southeast Asian states, persecuted in their homeland for gladesh needs to much increase
Burma occupies the most sensitive their distinctiveness. In 1991, fol- its vigil in the Bangladesh-Myan-
position between India and China, lowing some incidents, the Bur- mar borders and deploy security
giving rise to routine descriptions mese border security forces and forces in adequate number. More
of a ‘Sino-India rivalry’ over the the army drove out over 250,000 important would be launching im-
country. Rohingyas from Arakan and they mediate wide ranging diplomatic
had to be sheltered by Bangladesh activities to be able to prevail on
since that time. After some years, Myanmar authorities to see rea-
THE FINANCIAL EX- talks between the two countries son and be restrained from push-
led to the return of a large number ing Rohingyas into Bangladesh.
PRESS: 2 million of the Rohingyas. But many still Among Myanmar’s neighbors, Chi-
Rohingyas facing remain as the repatriation pro- na has the greatest influence on
push in to Bangla- gramme was suspended in 2007. that country. Therefore, it should
Instead of resuming it, Myanmar be the lookout of Bangladesh to
desh authorities seem to be planning to use their Chinese friends to put
Enayet Rasul Bhuiyan push in afresh on a large scale the pressure on Myanmar to hold back
Rohingyas into Bangladesh. Press from their various adventuristic
Mass forced expulsion of Rohing- reports quoting different sources designs against Bangladesh in-
yas from Arakan is feared indicate that there is the possibil- cluding the pushing in of the Ro-
ity that the Myanmar authorities hingyas. In sum, Bangladesh has

 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


www.rohingya.org
no choice but to be proactive in relation to Myanmar to be able to offset another large scale pouring in of
Rohingya refuges from across the borders into its territories.

The number of Rohingyas who


have remained in Bangladesh
for the last two decades, have
created seri- ous problems
for this coun- try. They have to
be sheltered, fed, clothed and
taken care of in different ways
mainly by Ban- gladesh notwith-
standing that foreign aid or
UN assistance also came for
their upkeep. But the main re-
sponsibility for the looking after
of the refugees from Myanmar
has been one of Bangladesh and
its government. For a long time
and before the repatriation of
these refugees started, Bangla-
desh authori- ties were found
too stressed in caring for these
uprooted peo- ple. Another big
wave of Rohing- yas coming from
across the borders would mean resurrection of huge problems which seemed about to end.

Media reports from various sources indicate that a mass forced migration of the Rohingyas into Bangladesh
would be imminent. Already, some thousands of Rohingyas have crossed over into Bangladesh territories dur-
ing the last couple of weeks. From what they had to say, the authorities here could form an impression that
the Myanmar military and para military are once again letting loose a rein of terror on these helpless people
so that they get frightened and tortured enough into fleeing their homes leaving their everything behind. So,
it is more than high time for Bangladesh government, to wake up from its slumber or to shake off its low key
response and to counteract the growing problem while it remains controllable or reasonable. Any delay in
this matter could mean a situation where it would have to face up to a sudden flood of refugees which would
be much more difficult to control or even try such a thing in view of its purely humanitarian aspects.

Bangladesh government needs to contact Myanmar authorities at the highest level and persuade them to call
off the terrorizing of the Rohingyas immediately. Only from an easing of conditions for them--locally-- the
Rohingyas are likely to get back their confidence and the motivation to stay in their home country. The most
effective way to deter this push in of Rohingyas in great number would be contacting countries such as China
which have most leverages on Myanmar and the UN with the aim of using their influence to stop the repres-
sion of the Rohingya population.

COMPOSITION OF THE ROHINGYA SOCIETY IN ARAKAN


By AFK Jilani

D
r. Than Tun the Rector of Mandalay University and former professor of History, Rangoon
University wrote that, “The kings of Arakan had Muslim titles. The Muslim kings mentioned
in the inscription might be Rohingya, from the Mayu River , the eastern part of the NAF
River , who claimed over thousand years of their existence. Their existence might be from the time
of 1202 CE when the Muslim conquered Bengal that is 800 years ago. In the Kyaukza or stone in-
scription of 1442, it was written that some Muslim kings of Arakan were the friends of king of Ava.
They used to visit Ava .Narameikhla had paid visit to King of Ava.

Islam came to Southeast Asia borne on the seas by Sufis and merchants rather than overland by soldiers
brandishing swords. Conversion was by choice, not coercion. This peaceful and gradual Islamisation has

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News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

moulded the Southeast Asian Mus- sent to Arakan proper and settled the British naval force in the Bay
lims, psyche into one, which is cos- in villages.” of Bengal . The capture and en-
mopolitan, open-minded, tolerant slavement of prisoners was one of
and amenable to cultural diver- The Arab merchants and mystics the most lucrative types of plun-
sity. carried out missionary activities der. Half the prisoners taken by
among the locals. The superior the Portuguese and all the arti-
During the same period, Ara- moral character and high mission- sans among them were given to the
kanese chronicles states that Mus- ary zeal of these devout followers king of Arakan. The rest were sold
lim Faqirs and Sufis(saints)used attracted large number of people on the market or forced to settle
to visit the Arakan coast. One of towards Islam who embraced it in the villages near Mrohaung. A
the widely known facts is the ex- enmasse. Many of the early Arabs considerable number of these cap-
istence of Muslim shrines called married locals, women and settled tives were Muslims. In addition to
Bader Mokam which are essen- in towns and villages permanently. the Muslim prisoners and slaves
tially the commemorative shrines The Arabs and Persians such as brought to Arakan from Bengal and
originally erected even from North India
by the followers , many more came to
of Pir Badarud- serve as mercenar-
din Badri-i-Alam ies in the Arakanese
popularly known army, usually as the
as pir Badar king’s body guard.
scattered along
the coastline of Two maps in the
Arakan.The leg- “Times Atlas of the
endary Hanifa World History” edited
Tonki and Khaya- in 1979 by Geoffrey
futi Tonki in Mayu Burraclough clearly
mountain, the indicated Arakan as a
Shriness of Baba- Muslim country. Ara-
ji Shah Monayam kan had turned into
of Ambari and Sultanate and Islam
Pir Badar Shah had flourished to it
at Akyab all bear zenith. Persian was
evidence of the adopted as a state lan-
arrival of mystic guage, which contin-
saints as early as ued up to 1845. One of
the 7th Century. the preconditions for
Mrauk-U kings before
There were or- their ascension to the
ders in Persian in throne of Arakan was
the Deputy Com- that they were to be
missioner’s court graduated in Islamic
at Akyab dated studies. Coins, medal-
1834 and also from lions and state em-
T.Dickerson Esq. Commissioner of Sulayman (AD851) Hudud Al Alam blems were inscribed with’Kalima’
Arakan, to the effect that one Hus- (AD 982) and many others used (the profession of faith in Islam)
sain Ally, the then Thugyi of Bu- routes over Arakan Yoma to travel and “Aqimuddin” (establishment
damaw circle, was to have charge to Burma and then to china. They of God’s rule over the earth) in Ar-
of the Buddermokam and to enjoy wrote about the relation between abic script.
any sums that he might collect on Burma and China and internal
account of alms and offerings. ethnic groups, relations. The Arab According to the author of the
were said to be in control of the “Time Atlas of World History”
“About 788 A.D Mahataing Sandya foreign trade of Arakan until re- Muslim rule in Arakan had already
ascended the throne, founded a cent centuries. been established before Naramei-
new city (Vesali) on the side of old kla fled to Bengal . Muslim kings
Ramawadi and died after a reign Joint Magh/Portuguese raids on of Arakan used to visit to Ava as
of twenty two years. In his reign Bengal continued until the end of was written in the Kyaukza (stone
several ships were wrecked off the eighteenth century and ceased plates) inscription of 1442, as state
Ramree island and the crews said entirely with the strengthening of
to have been Muhamadens, were

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www.rohingya.org

guest of kings of Ava.

One of the coins of Sultan Ali Shah(Thatasa-1525 CE) found at Mrauk-U, inscribed in Persian, in the obverse
side, read as follows:-

“There is no God but Allah, Mohammad the Messenger of Allah. May Allah perpetuate his kingdom” On the
reverse side, also inscribed in Persian, it reads as “Sultan Ali Shah, father of the victorious May Allah per-
petuate his kingdom.”

The eleven kings, who ruled Arakan for one hundred years (1430-1530) from Sultan Sulayman Shah to Sultan
Ali Shah, were feudatory to Bengal . From the time of Min Bin (Zabuk Shah 1531-1553) Arakan was no more
feudatory to Bengal . The south-eastern of Bengal, Chittagong , came under the sway of Zabuk shah around
1540. Even after becoming independent from Bengal Sultans. Arakanese kings had continued the custom of
using Muslim titles, inscribing Kalama in coins, using Persian as state language and graduating in Islamic
studies.

One of the most glorious periods of Bangali literature was the seventeenth century. It was indeed a golden
age. The romantic Bengali literature free from unnecessary divine or religious sentiments began in the
hands of the Muslims poets at the court of Arakan. Their poems in the seventeenth century have left clear
records of the reigning monarchs of Arakan.

Daulat Qazi wrote his Sati Mayna O Lor Chandrani at the request of Ashraf Khan, the Chief Minister of Salim
Shah II (Thiri Thudama) 1622-1638. This great work of Daulat begins with a graphic picture of the capital
of Arakan of the king and his chief minister and of the people of the country in general. The chief minister
was Ashraf Khan and in whose able hands the reins of monarchy were entrusted for the major period of the
king’s reign.In this context Daulat writes “the great king (Thiri Thudama or Salim Shah II) knowing that his
life would come to an end, transferred the rule of the kingdom to the hands of his minister Ashraf Khan”.

According to history, the coronation of Salim Shah II was deferred for twelve years, in pursuance of an
astrological prediction that the king would die within a year of his coronation. Alawal mentioned that the
kingdom of Arakan was entrusted to the joint rule of the son and the daughter of the Thado Mintra, after his
death. The daughter and the Chief Minister, Magan Thakur, had very important roles in the administration
of the state. Another minister Sulayman of the king Sanda Thudama also figures very prominently in one of
the Alawal’s works. Alawal’s qualities soon attracted the Chief

Minister of Arakan Magan Siddiqi (Thakur).Magan himself was a scholar and a poet. Under his patronage,
Alawal wrote, “Padmavati” a famous Hindu romantic epic by Malik Mohammad Jaisi, in Bengali. Alawal
turned the mystic idea and supernatural ornamentation of Jaisi into human life and activities. His next
work was “Saiful Mulk Badiuzzamal” based on “Arabian Nights”. This was followed by “Haft Paikar(seven
portraits)” based on the Persian poet Nizam Panjabi’s work of the same name.

Poet Marden stated his birthplace to be Kanchipuri in Arakan where there lived a number of Ulamas and
Sheikhs. He wrote an epic entitled ‘Nasib Nama’. Another Muslim Poet was Abdul Karim Khondakar. He said
He said his great grandfather Rasul Mia was a custom officer of Arakan Port. Speaking about a village named

APRIL 
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

Bandar in ROSHANG (ARAKAN) ed to ethnic discrimination by the Government of Burma for their cul-
Abdul Karim says,”There lived in ture, religion and language. Therefore, they have been taking shelter in
that village Qazis, Muftis, Ulema, neighbouring Bangladesh to avoid persecution, just like Bangladeshis
Pir and Sufis. Those high-raking took shelter in India, during the liberation war of 1971.
Muslims used to converse with the After the liberation of Bangladesh, there were two phases of Rohingya
kings on equal and friendly terms. Refugee exodus to Bangladesh. Although Burma has been accepting
Whenever a poor man happened some refugees from Bangladesh, yet the country’s reluctance to accept
to visit the village, he was never all the refugees has been obvious. So, international pressure is required
returned empty handed. to be put on Burma.
The Neeti Gobeshona Kendro believes that the Bangladesh Foreign
For saying prayers a mosque was Minister will raise the Rohingya issue with the Burmese authorities,
built there Sadiq Nana Atiabar( while having discussions with them. It was not enough that the Rohing-
the patron of Abdul Karim). For ya issue was raised at the sidelines of the “Bali Process”, which was
this act he became well known in held in April, in which 42 countries participated.
the society. There gathered a good Arakan is an important place as it lies between South Asia and South-
number of Ulemas in the village east Asia and has natural resources. So, it is very important for Burma
who supervised the regular saying and Bangladesh, if either country monopolizes the situation after creat-
of prayers. One of them was ap- ing problems in Arakan, it would create trouble, Professor Mahbubul
pointed as khatib, while another Huq Ripon, added.
was appointed Imam”. Bangladesh is a small and poor country with a huge population. As a
result, it is very difficult to give shelter and support to the Rohingya
refugees continuously. So, it is desirable to give support to the refugees
Kaladan News: Hu- from donor countries, including United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR).
man Rights Group The Rohingya problem does not only concern Bangladesh and Burma
briefs press on but also concerns South Asia and Southeast Asia. Some of the Rohingyas
were arrested, tortured and died in Southeast Asian countries. Burma
Bangladesh FM’s did not receive the Rohingya migrants. Hence, the participation of all
visit to Burma countries is needed to solve the problem.
May 18, 2009 In Burma, all the minority groups have been persecuted by the Bur-
mese military junta, of them; the Rohingya community is the one which

C
hittagong, Bangladesh: suffers the most. The SPDC authority changed Arakan State to Rakh-
The Neeti Gobeshona ine State, and always creates problems between Rohingya and Rakh-
Kendro, the Research ine communities. They (SPDC) also encourages the Rakhine community
Organization for Human Rights to create trouble so that the Rohingya community leaves from Arakan
State. The Rakhine community works towards this because they will get
and Good Governance, held a
an empty Arakan State for their advantage. Nearly all are Burmans in
press conference on May 16, ruling posts. It has been established that during the Saffron Revolution,
2009, at the Chittagong Press the Rakhine monks were tortured and killed by the military junta.
Club to discuss the Rohingya According to the report of the World Human Rights Organizations, there
issue with representatives of is no religious freedom and no human rights for people living in Arakan
the Burmese government and State. Besides, Model (Natala) villages have been set up in Arakan State
demanded a solution for the inviting Burmans from Burma proper. Burma’s authority adopted a citi-
same, according to our corre- zenship law against the Rohingya community in 1982, to deprive the
spondent. Rohingya community from citizenship. Rohingyas have been fleeing to
Mahbubul Huq Ripon, Direc- Bangladesh since 1970, to take shelter in Bangladesh, to avoid persecu-
tor and Founder Trustee of Neeti tion by the SPDC authorities, the Director added
Gobeshona Kendro was the main
key note speaker at the Chittagong
Press Club. Myanmar pledges to take back Rohing-
During the press conference, the
Director of Neeti Gobeshona Ken-
yas
Fri, May 29th, 2009
dro said that the Rohingyas have

D
been living in Arakan State for
hundreds of years now, so they are haka, May 29 (bdnews24.com)—Foreign minister Dipu
citizens of Arakan State, accord- Moni has said the Myanmar leaders during her latest trip
ing to their historical back ground. to that country told her that they would take the Rohingya
However, they have been subject- refugees back.

10 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


www.rohingya.org

made it clear that Dhaka would Rivers, highlighted the on-going


She told reporters at the foreign not accept any foreign national as persecution of the ethnic Rohing-
ministry on Friday that Myanmar its citizen. ya people in their bid to escape
authorities in December last year terrible persecution and privation
said Rohingyas were not Myanmar Around 30,000 residual Rohigya in Myanmar, formerly Burma, and
citizens but Bangladeshis. “At a refugees, Myanmar Muslims from in neighboring countries.
meeting on trafficking in persons the northern Rakhain state, have
in Bali, I presented historical data been living in camps in Cox’s Ba- Jurors at Tuesday’s award ceremo-
and necessary evidence on Ro- zar district as they are unwilling to ny in London singled out CNN’s
hingyas’ Myanmarese identity. return to Myanmar. entry for particular praise for put-
ting the issue high on the agenda
“During my Myanmar visit (May Hundreds of thousands of Rohing- at an ensuing Southeast Asian
16-17), its leaders admitted that yas fled into Bangladesh as the summit meeting.
they are Myanmarese and agreed military junta in the former Burma They said they were impressed by
to take them back,” the foreign cracked down on them to avert the a brilliant investigation that broke
minister. international focus on its domestic new ground and secured a person-
She said Myanmar government affairs including power handover al commitment to intervene from
sought a list from Dhaka on the to democratically elected leader the Thai prime minister.
number of Rohingyas living in Aung San Suu Kyi. CNN International executive vice
Bangladesh as part of the repatri- president and managing director
ation process. Muslim Rohingyas are the minor- Tony Maddox said: “This award
ity in the Buddhist Myanmar. is a tremendous reflection on the
She observed that the influx of quality and depth of CNN’s re-
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar As per a tripartite agreement with porting, the tenacity, bravery and
was not a new development, rather the UNHCR, most of the Rohing- resourcefulness of our correspon-
the Arakan people were continu- yas returned to their homeland, dent Dan Rivers and an endorse-
ously intruding into Bangladesh but they later intruded for better ment of the network’s strategy to
for long. Her rather candid com- life in Bangladesh. own and create more content.
ments came as Bangladesh media “It is a testament to CNN’s Lon-
reported massive intrusion of Ro- The military leadership, following don-based managing editor Debo-
hingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and a mass upsurge in 1988, gave na- rah Rayner and the World’s Untold
Bandarban districts. tional election in which Suu Kyi’s Stories team in Atlanta that only
National League for Democracy the third edition of the documen-
Dipu Moni said the refugee flow had landslide victory. tary series, produced by CNN In-
would not stop unless Myanmar ternational, has won such a presti-
authorities guaranteed “qualita- But the ruling generals refused to gious award so soon,” he added.
tive change” in its Arakan state— hand over power and put her in The allegations of mistreatment of
Rohingyas’ motherland. jail and finally on trial. the Rohingya in the neighboring
“Rohigya influx is always there. country of Thailand -- at the hands
They have been coming continu- of the military -- prompted a gov-
ously. ernment inquiry.
CNN exposé on Thai
“A small number of them are in the Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva later
(UNHCR) camp. Huge numbers of refugee abuse told CNN in an exclusive interview
them are outside the camp,” Dipu wins award with Rivers that he would bring
Moni told reporters at foreign min- those responsible to account.

L
istry on Friday. ONDON, England (CNN)
-- A CNN documentary The haunting pictures of Thai
“If there was no qualitative change soldiers towing boatloads of Ro-
that sparked worldwide
in the place they come from, the hingya and cutting them adrift
influx would be continuing even condemnation of Thailand’s al- on the high seas -- first broadcast
though we send them back or leged practice of pushing Myan- on CNN’s World’s Untold Stories
Myanmar shows interest in taking mar’s Rohingya boat people -- are one of the iconic images of
them back,” she said. out to sea has won an Amnesty 2009 and are credited with bring-
International Media Award. ing the practice to worldwide at-
Foreign secretary Md Touhid tention.
Hossain said, “So far, there is no The winning half-hour documen- “This story underscores all the
change in the environment they tary, presented by CNN’s Bang- reasons why I became a journal-
live in.” The foreign secretary kok-based correspondent Dan ist,” said Rivers. “It’s about getting

APRIL 11
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)
the facts and using those facts to engage an audience from the southern side of Arakan State. This is one of
and make a difference.” the reasons, why northern Arakan is densely popu-
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, paid lated.
tribute to the winners for bringing human rights abus- The present ruling junta successfully emptied Ro-
es to the world’s attention. She said: “In the midst hingyas from some of the towns in southern Arakan
of the world financial crisis it is more important by driving them to the north of Arakan. The aim of the
than ever to celebrate the achievements of journal- ruling junta was to reduce the Rohingya population
ists whose outstanding reporting has helped throw a where Rohingya people are in the majority by setting
clear light upon human rights abuses. up model villages.
“Not only is the crisis itself having an impact upon At first, the SPDC authorities took the initiative to
people’s human rights, there is also a real threat to bring the majority of the population of model vil-
investigative journalism as media outlets cut costs lages from among poor Rakhine people from other
and reduce staff.” parts of Arakan State and some local ethnic minori-
ties such as Kame, Dainget, Mro and Thet who lived
in the highlands. Later, the authorities brought poor
Why SPDC sets up Natala vil- Burmans from central Burma, mostly retired civil
servants, former prisoners, and street people. The
lages in northern Arakan people were not willing to come to Arakan, but they
By Fayas Kapani were forcibly brought. They were even shackled by
the legs while they were brought to Arakan by ship

T
he State Peace and Development Coun- from Rangoon.
cil’s (SPDC‘s) setting up Natala village or The model villages have been built on the lands that
model village in northern Arakan calling were confiscated from the Rohingya community. A
in Burmans from Burma proper and Rakhines model village is usually built to house about 100 fami-
from inside and outside Arakan State has re- lies. Each family received at least three acres of land,
sulted in the confiscation of lands and extract- a pair of oxen, and a house. Besides, the ruling jun-
ta provided them some tractors to till lands to grow
ing forced labor from the Rohingya community.
paddy and gave them rickshaws for their survival.
Before 1992, some model villages were built in Ara-
But, the majority of the people of model villages have
kan State, mainly in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and
no knowledge how to cultivate the land allocated to
Rathedaung Townships. Building of model villages
them and instead rent it out to Rohingya farmers. In
reportedly intensified after the formation of Nasaka
some cases it is the same people from whom the land
(Burma’s border security force) in 1992.
was originally confiscated.
The setting up of Natala villages in northern Arakan
In some places, Rohingya people are forced to till
is under the supervision of the Ministry for Devel-
their land for growing paddy and work till the har-
opment of Border Areas and National Races, better
vest. Besides, the Rohingya villagers have to provide
known under its Burma’s acronym “Natala.” Hence,
money for their ration and need also to provide gen-
model villages are locally known as Natala villages.
erators to supply electricity to the new comers. Na-
A Central Committee for the Development of Border
saka also seize Rohingyas’ grazing pasture and dis-
Areas and National Races was formed in May 1989,
tribute it to the Natala villagers for their cattle. Some
soon after the military government in September
of them leased it back to Rohingya villagers.
1992. This Committee was upgraded to Ministry for
Besides, schools, health centers were also built in
Progress of Border Areas and National Races and
model villages by forced labor of the Rohingya peo-
Development Affairs.
ple.
Northern Arakan is a place of few arable farmlands
At present, a total of 100 model villages have been
and is mostly mountainous region. It is also a place
built in northern Arakan, among them 45 villages
for many Rohingyas transferred from southern Ara-
were built in Maungdaw, 40 villages in Buthidaung
kan State after riots broke out between Rakhine and
and 15 villages in Rathedaung townships.
Rohingya communities in 1942.
Operation against Rohingya community, the succes-
In 1968, people were in great trouble as a fierce
sive military government launched at least 19 oper-
storm lashed in Kyaukpru and Sittwe (Akyab) dis-
ations against the Rohingya community since 1948.
tricts. Meanwhile, Rohingyas were arrested illegal-
These operations were only implemented to drive
ly or picked up from Mrauk U, Mray Bon, Min Bya,
the Rohingya community from Arakan State in the
Pauktaw townships by the army and brought to Buthi-
guise of checking people’s list in border areas amid
daung township by boats and forcibly dropped there.
other allegations. The immigration authorities seized
Later, they were sent to Maungdaw and scattered in
old original NRC cards and photographs from the Ro-
Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships and stayed
hingya community in exchange of new ones, but they
there without any support from the government. This
did not return it. By doing this, the Rohingya com-
was a kind of uprooting of the Rohingya community
munity was bereft of NRC cards and photographs.

12 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


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Earlier, they also seized photographs and NRC cards been suffering from acute human rights violations at
while Rohingya people were traveling to Akyab, the hands of the junta.
Rangoon and other parts of Burma , by saying that Some of the Natala villagers’ harassments against the
it was given by the immigration in native towns. Af- Rohingya community are mentioned here below:
ter seizing them, the authorities gave a receipt that The Natala villagers frequently create problem for
his document was seized temporarily. But, it will Rohingya villagers.They steal cattle, vegetables from
never be returned to the original people. So, most of Rohingya villagers and even rob Rohingya travelers.
the Rohingya people have been become NRC cards They are encouraged by the concerned authorities
less. However, the SPDC authorities were not satis- who give them all the facility and protection to be-
fied by doing this, so over 300,000 Rohingya people come goons in Northern Arakan .
were forced to cross the Bangladesh border in 1978 Most of the Natala villagers in Maungdaw Township
because of the operation King Dragon (Nagamin) and , don’t like to stay their remote Natala villages, so
over 250,000 people also crossed the border in 1991- they transferred to Maungdaw-Aley Than Kyaw road
92 given the persecution by the military junta. establishing tents by the road-side with the coopera-
The ruling military junta thought that the above per- tion of local Nasaka authorities. Afterward, they es-
secutions were not sufficient to drive the Rohingya tablished small market, bar shops, Video rooms and
community from Arakan State . So, taking the advice even allowed gambling. They also opened prostitu-
of their collaborators from among the Rakhine com- tion to pursue local youths, hence, many local youths
munity, they have been setting up Natala villages in have been destroying, said a local elder.
Arakan State since 1992 aiming to depopulate the The State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) set
Rohingya community and harassing them through up a police out-post or army battalions close to Natala
Natala villagers. This technique has been very suc- villages to give them security. If the Natala villagers
cessful for the ruling junta because of confiscation of commit any crime against the Rohingya villagers, the
lands, forced labor, harassment to Rohingya villagers police or Nasaka take no action against them. Natala
by Natala villagers such as--- looting, robbery, steal- villagers never hesitate to commit any crime against
ing property from the Rohingya community and even the Rohingy community. The authorities do not take
killing. any action against the Natala villagers.
Besides, the army, Nasaka (Burma’s border security Natala villagers are doing whatever they want, en-
force), police, TPDC (Township Peace and Develop- couraged by the concerned authorities who give them
ment Council), DPDC (District Peace and Develop- all the facility and protection to become gangsters
ment Council, Sarapa (Military Intelligence) along in Northern Arakan . Earlier, all the Natala villages
with TOC (Tactical Operation Command) and MOC were built on the orders of Prime Minister General
(Military Operation Command) members have been Khin Nyuint, who was sacked on 19 October 2004.
mounting persecution against the Rohingya commu- After the sacking of Prime Minister General Khin
nity in areas of religion, economy, education, health, Nyuint, the Rohingya community of northern Arakan
politics among others after grabbing power in 1989. believed that the establishing of Natala village would
Some Rakhine people are acting as catalysts to ha- be stopped. But, the houses for the Natala village are
rass the Rohingya community in collaboration with being reconstructed again by the army and it seems
SPDC authorities. A catalyst is a chemical compound “Men change, but not the change of rule”.
which is used to produce oxygen gas in laboratory. On January 1 to 3, 2008, a total of about 267 Natala vil-
If the KCLO3 is heated with fire after putting it into lagers comprising 50 families were invited from Bur-
a test tube, O2 gas will be produced. But it takes a ma proper to Maungdaw Township by the authorities
long time, and there is the risk of breaking of the test to settle them in northern Arakan. For the settlement
tube if the heat is excessive. If the MnO2 is put to- of the Natala villagers, the authorities made houses
gether with KCLO3, and given heat, the O2 gas will for them forcing Rohingya villagers to work in the
be produced in a short time. But, there is no change construction after confiscating land from Rohingya
in MnO2, but it will make it easy to produce O2 in farmers. The new comers were lured by the authori-
the laboratory. Similarly, some of the Rakhine people ties and forcefully brought to Arakan State .
(not all) misguided the SPDC authorities and advised On January 7, 2008, at around 10 am, about 100 Natala
it how to drive the Rohingya community away from villagers from Taungbro Sub-township of Maungdaw
Arakan. But, they stand still as neutral like a catalyst Township went to Nasaka area No.3 headquarters
between the Rohingya people and SPDC authorities and demanded that they be provided rice as the rice
knowing nothing but secretly they (Rakhine) are clap- price has been skyrocketing in Maungdaw Township
ping their hands given the success of their plan. and Major “Thu Rin Zaw”, the Commander of the
I am surprised seeing the some Rakhine collaborators Nasaka camp promised to provide sufficient rice af-
or co-workers of SPDC in foreign countries crying for ter January 15. But, the Natala villagers were not sat-
democracy and human rights violations in Burma, isfied with this commitment. So, 40 Natala villagers
when they are actually doing what the SPDC does went to the storehouse of Nasaka and looted rice. As
against one of the communities (Rohingya) which has a result, Nasaka drove them out of the place and pro-

APRIL 13
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)

vided 5 kg of rice to those who par- On Febuary 26, 2008, Molana Nu- der. When stopped by Rohingya,
ticipated in the strike. It seen that rulddin (53) from Taungbro village, the Natala villagers went back to
the authorities do not take any ac- a religious teacher’s house was their village and come back with
tion against Natala villagers even intruded by two Natala villagers, other Natala villagers to attack the
if they (Natala) attack government Myo Win and Htay Aung from near Rohingya villagers with spears,
property. Nurulddin village and snatched knives and catapults. The Rohing-
On January 10, 2008, at about 6 his breed chickens without asking ya villagers also threw stones at
pm, Fatema Khatoon (50) belong- any one. When Nurulddin object- Natala villagers and a clash broke
ing to Long Dong village of Bawli ed, they (Natala) started pelting out. Some of Rohingya complained
Bazar village tract of Maungdaw him with pellet shots from a cata- and informed the authorities and
Township was hit by three Natala pult. He was hit on the upper side a section of policemen went to the
villagers with a pellet shot from of his left eye. He went to the near spot and arrested 50 Rohingya peo-
catapult where they targeted the Nasaka camp to complain, but no ple and brought them to the police
woman’s face, arm and chest. The action was taken. station and detained them. But,
woman fell to the ground and be- On May 5, 2008, at about 7pm, a the police took no action against
came unconscious. They had come Natala villager of Loung Don vil- the Natala villagers.
to the farm for stealing green chili lage tract in Maungdaw Township On March 1, 2009, there was a big
and egg plants, or brinjal and to- stabbed a Rohingya villager on his incident between Natala villagers
matoes. Because of the presence way home from the market .The and Rohingya villagers in Sanganet
of Fatema Khatoon, the Natala vil- victim has been identified as Abul village tract (Near Taung Bazar) of
lagers were not able to steal the Hussain (30), son of Nagu Meah Buthidaung Township . On that day,
vegetables. No action was taken hailed from south Bawli Bazar vil- two Natala women villagers went
against the Natala villagers. lage. On that day, a Natala villager to a vegetable farm of Rohingya
On January 17, 2008, at about 3 pm, from Loung Don Natala village of villager for stealing--- chilli, pea,
a woman Natala villager took away Maungdaw Township with lethal brinjal, tomatoes, pumpkin --- and
utensils in broad day light from a weapons stopped the victim while others while the owners were not
woman Rohingya villager named he was on his way to home from the present. The vegetables farmers
Nozoma Khatoon of Sain Tay Pyin market. The Natala villager tried were Rohingya, every year they
village of Loung Don village tract to steal Abul Hussain’s money, but cultivate the land and grow many
of Maungdaw Township . But, the he resisted and ran away. But, the kinds of vegetables. But, Natala
police out-post did not take any ac- Natala villager chased him and villagers were stealing the veg-
tion against the culprit. The State stabbed him on the chest. etables without any fear though
Peace and Development Council the owners told them not to steal
(SPDC) established a police out- On June, 2008, over 1,000 acres vegetables. Regarding the matter,
post, Nasaka camp or army camp of farmlands were confiscated in the owners complained to the con-
near Natala villages to give them Maungdaw Township for Natala cerned authority many times to
security. If the Natala villagers villagers. The authorities seized take action against the Natala vil-
commit any crime against the Ro- 250 acres from Shwe Zarr village lagers, but they paid no heed.
hingya villagers, the authorities tract, 160 acres from Aley Than On that day, in the evening, when
take no action against them. Kyaw village tract, 450 acres from the two farm owners went to their
On January 22, 2008, the body of Is- Bawli Bazar (Kyein Chaung) vil- farms and saw two Natala women
saque (32) was found with wounds lage tract, 5 to 15 acres from Khari villagers were stealing vegetables.
inflicted in his abdomen by a drag- Para, Pandaw Pyin (Nolbonia) They took sticks and approached
ger near Aung Mangala Natala Para and other villages in Maung- to them. Seeing the owners, the
village under the Nasaka Head- daw Township . The aim of the mil- two women Natala villagers tried
quarters of Maungdaw Township . itary regime is to cut down the Ro- to flee, but the two farm owners hit
Before Issaque was killed, he had hingya population where they are them with sticks on their heads.
complained to the police officer in the majority by setting up Na- As a result, the two women from
Hla Pey of Aung Mangla police tala villages and calling the Bud- the Natala villagers died on the
station that one of his goats was dhist community over from Burma spot. They were buried in their
taken away and killed by Natala proper. It has also resulted in the farm. After that, the farm owners
villagers in the morning of that confiscation of lands and forced fled from the scene.
day. The police officer went to the labor in the Rohingya community. The two dead women were sisters.
Natala village and warned the vil- When their father realized that his
lagers. Issaque was killed by Nata- December 20, 2008, at around 8 two daughters were late coming
la villagers because the police of- am, a clash occurred between Na- home, he went out of the house to
ficer insulted them over the theft tala villagers and Rohingyas after look for his daughters. The father
of a goat. So, the Natala villagers five Natala youths burnt haystacks got a clue that two Rohingya villag-
killed Issaque as revenge. of Rohingyas kept as cattle fod- ers were involved in killing of his

14 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4


www.rohingya.org

daughters. So, immediately, the father informed the nearby army camp, Nasaka camp and the police station
to help him in finding his missing daughters.
Being informed, army, police and Naska went to the Thanganet village and surrounded the village and se-
verely beat up all the villagers including men and women. Lastly they found out two men who were involved
in the murder. According to their statements, four other men were also involved in the murder. But, they were
not present at the village and are absconding. The two arrested culprits were detained by Nasaka and later
sent to Buthidaung jail. Four females of absconding culprits’ wives were brought to the police station. They
are still in detention.
The authorities arbitrarily arrested about 85 villagers including males and females, but they were released
after taking money. Villagers paid kyat 300,000 per head for their release. Besides, the Village Peace and
Development Council (VPDC) Chairman paid over 10 million kyat to the concerned authorities not to further
harass the villagers after collecting money from the villagers.
Regarding the event, all the vegetable farms owned by Rohingya people nearby Siripi Natala village were
seized by army, and the owners of the farm have been facing acute difficulties.
On March 25, 2009, two Rohingya traders were killed by Natala villagers, while another one went missing,
when they were crossing the Nga-kyidauk mountain pass from Maungdaw Township to Buthidaung Town-
ship . On that day, early in the morning, 15 Rohingya vegetable traders from Buthidaung Township went to
Maungdaw Town , to sell potatoes, turmeric, chilli, sesame oil-cake and other items after crossing the Nga-
kyidauk mountain pass. After selling their goods in Maungdaw Township , in the evening, they were return-
ing home after crossing the Nga-kyidauk mountain pass. However, at that time, some Natala villagers, with
lethal weapons, were waiting on the mountain pass to rob the vegetable traders. When the vegetable traders
reached the mountain pass, the Natala villagers suddenly attacked them killing two traders on the spot. One
trader is still missing. The other traders, however, managed to escape. According to a villager, the present
SPDC authorities are not satisfied with their persecution of the Rohingya community, so they encourage the
Natala villagers to oppress the Rohingya.
On April 10, 2009 a Rohingya youth (25), son of Jaffar, hailing from Ngakyin Tauk village was hit by Natala vil-
lagers with a catapult while he was going to a lake for a bath. He is in a critical condition, and being treated
in a health care centre of Taung Bazar. Natala villagers are going to the Rohingya villages after drinking wine
with lethal weapons such as--- knives, catapult and Meya Sue (Chingali).

On April 8, 2009, 120- family of Natala villagers or new comers was brought to Maungdaw town from Burma
proper. They were staying at Sikdar Para State High School of Maungdaw Town and were being fed by Ro-
hingya villagers living nearby after collecting ration from villagers. Later, the new comers were settled in
Maungdaw Township with 20 families in Taungbro village, 80 families in Nurula Para and 20 families in Sik-
dar Para.
Rohingya villagers are in panic-stricken state because of Natala villagers are being equipped with lethal
weapons and even guns while the knife, hoe, knife, axe etc---are being seized from the Rohingya villagers
recently. SPDC authorities encourage the Natala and Rakhine villagers physically and morally to create
problem for the Rohingya community. Such is the situation that more Natala villagers or new comers are be-
ing brought to northern Arakan.
The SPDC authorities accompanied by Natala villagers and some of Rakhines, co-workers of SPDC have
been discriminating against the Rohingya people in many angles. I appreciate the Rohingya community as
how they survive in their motherland within the huge burden of persecutions of SPDC authorities. As a hu-
man being, it is unbearable for the Rohingya community .In my viewpoint, Arakan is a big jail for Rohingya
community. If the persecution is going on in Arakan against the Rohingya community, Rohingya community
will be disappeared in Arakan forever in a short time. As a result, north Arakan will become a dangerous
place for the Rohingya community for existing.
It is time for the world community to save the Rohingya community from the SPDC’s viciousness.

OIC/CFM-36/2009/MM/DR/RES/FINAL; RESOLUTION No. 4/36-MM, ON THE


MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN MYANMAR

T
he Thirty-sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (For Enhancing Islamic Solidarity),
held in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic from 28 Jumadal Awwal to 1 Jumadal Thani 1430H, (23-25
May, 2009);

Reaffirming Resolution No. 4/11-MM (IS) adopted by the 11th Islamic Summit Conference held in Dakar, Re-

APRIL 15
News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, Arakan ( Burma)
public of Senegal, in March 2008; and Resolution No. 4/35 adopted by the 35th Session of the Conference of Foreign
Ministers (CFM) held in Kampala, Republic of Uganda;

Having considered the Report of the Secretary-General on the Muslim Community in Myanmar (Document No. OIC/
CFM-36/2009/MM/SG.REPS);

1. Calls upon the Government of Myanmar to put an end the practices of displacement, expulsion, and exile of Arakan
Muslims and the continued attempts to eradicate their Islamic culture and identity, and urges government
authorities to respect the texts of international legitimacy on human rights.
2. Calls on Member States to continue their efforts in conjunction with those of the international community and the
United Nations in order to ensure the return of all Myanmar refugees displaced from their homes, particularly
the Muslims of the Arakan region of Myanmar.
3. Expresses concern over the continued deprivation of thousands of Rohingya Muslims citizenship right, and re-
quests the Secretary General and Member States that have close to the Government of Myanmar to intensify contacts
in order to gain recognition for Rohingya as one of its ethnic minorities and to stop all forms of violence, expulsion
and violation of human rights against them, and to remove all restrictions imposed on their freedom to move, learn
and to own property.
4. Commends the efforts of the Secretary General aimed at coordinating the work of the Rohingya Muslim organiza-
tions and uniting their ranks under a united coordination council and calls on him to continue these efforts to reclaim
their rights.

OIC/CFM-36/2009/MM/DR/RES/FINAL

5. Requests the Secretary-General to contact the Government of Myanmar for dispatching an OIC Mission to Myanmar
in order to study the conditions of Muslims there and to report thereon to the next CFM.
6. Supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General and his Special Envoy on Myanmar, Mr. Ibrahim Gam-
bari; and invites the OIC Secretary-General to continue his cooperation with him and support his
efforts.
7. Calls on the Member States to continue to extend all possible forms of support and assistance to Myanmar Muslims
and to those among them living as refugees outside their homeland.
8. Requests the Secretary-General to follow up the implementation of this resolution and report thereon to the Thirty-
seventh session of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

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16 ARAKAN VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4